Friday, November 26, 2010

30 Chic Days - Day Twenty Six

Day 26: Embrace thrift

You may or may not know that my husband and I own a small retail footwear business which we work in every day. You'd think I'd be the last person to advocate not spending money. People spending money sort of keeps us going.

I will always try my best, in a non-pushy way, to help someone find the perfect pair of shoes. But I can’t help but think sometimes that people should just put their wallet away and go home.

It can be a slow boat to turn around, but once you stop spending it's actually quite hard to start again. The best way I found to stop spending (apart from when I was younger and couldn't pay my credit card bill) was to start decluttering. When you start making piles of 'good' stuff to get rid of, you begin to rethink just how much 'fun' shopping is.

Cherie from Renaissance Garden had the best quote on her blog recently:

"Every increased possession loads us with new weariness."
~John Ruskin

Truer words have never been spoken. I’d not heard it before but immediately had to write it down in my quote book.

Nowadays I find pleasure in shopping for an item I actually need. And that's after I've exhausted all avenues finding something at home that I have already to fit the purpose.

My mythical ideal French girl Sabine wouldn't cruise the mall after work on a Friday because she is bored and wants to buy something to excite her. Sabine doesn’t spend more than she earns and then faint when the credit card bill comes in. Nor does she squander and fritter hard-earned cash on trinkets, baubles, chocolate bars and cheap tops.

Non, she shops a couple of times a year, buys good quality at bargain prices and, when she does pay top dollar, it is for a classic, dark denim pair of jeans that fit her like a glove, and she wears them for many years in the future.


  1. So, so true! I couldn't agree more with this post. Through all of my decluttering this month it is amazing how I am starting to look at "stuff" in a whole new way. I've gone through my closet once but feel I could do it again to get rid of more things. I've been doing this with "Black Friday" looming in front of me. Early on in the month I said to my husband, "Let's not get lured into the Black Friday madness no matter how great a sale is--we don't need anything." Well, today is Black Friday and I am still in bed this morning which is mighty nicer than fighting crowds and mayhem (or even filling shopping carts online). Now I can look at my wardrobe and know exactly what I need and shop purposefully for that item. How nice to have "no regrets" shopping experiences!

  2. good morning fiona,

    truer words were never spoken. and my job too relies on me selling products and my services to people. i never over-sell anything. i always try to tell my clients things they can do to help their skin that don't cost money. such as exercise, diet, sleep, smiling (the best face lift there is). anyway today is black friday, do you have that too in new zealand? i will be working in my garden moving irises. ok, off my soapbox.


  3. Fiona, thanks for mentioning me and my blog. :)

    And thanks for the reminder about spending. Spending really is addictive. I've found myself shopping for something I really need and then I start adding to my purchase things I don't really need. Often I catch myself before I buy and go back through the store to return items I don't need. I must look a bit crazy at times but would rather have that than a lot of stuff I don't really need.

  4. I feel that truer words have never been spoken...
    and that Ruskin quote is perfect.

    We do not have Black Friday in Canada...but I do enjoy a thrift shop find and the occasional bargain.

    I love shoes and find they sell themselves so you my dear would be my guide in the game!

  5. It is so true! Other pieces worth paying top dollar for are classic bag, shoes and watch. If cared for well, they can serve us for many years and elevate any ensemble.

  6. Oh so true! I just finished rereading The Joy of Less to remotivate me. I have some major decluttering to do-a little bit at a time!

  7. Hi, I stumbled across your blog from one of my other fav's. just read all your "30 chic days" posts so far, and absolutely love all the advice you have given.

  8. i epitomize thrift!! =)
    frugality is amazing and i do love shopping and spending money but i always make sure that i have a buffer of money in my account.

    as always, love the 30 days and the advice!


  9. I couldn't agree more and I tend to live that way myself too!! "Things" don't mean much to me anymore - "experiences" are the best gifts you can give yourself and others and they don't cause clutter either! Much love to you! xxoo :)

  10. Janet, we do not have Black Friday (or Thanksgiving) in New Zealand. They're just like any other day. Boxing Day (the day after Christmas Day) is becoming the bargain shopping day though. More for big box stores. It's horrible and I think it ruins the spirit of Christmas.

    Cherie, it's great when you have buyer's remorse before you've even stepped out of the store. Much eaiser to return items!

    Hostess, I find it funny that a big treat now is a 50c book from a thrift store. And when I do buy something, it's because it fills a gap in my wardrobe, or I've run out, or something I use a lot has broken.

    Janey, Merci!

    Cathi, I agree, experiences (and consumables) are better gifts than things.

  11. C'est vrai...I will be spending this time after Christmas going through closets and our home de-cluttering my more "stuff" and my inner-French girl shall reign supreme and harshly judge anything trying to obtain my hard-earned dollars.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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